Bajaj Pulsar F250 vs Suzuki Gixxer SF 250: Quarter-litre Sport-tourersGo Head-on
Article by Drivio | 15th Jul 23
Both the Bajaj Pulsar F250 and the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 are faired bikes but are comfortable enough to be everyday bikes too.
- The F250 is the first of Bajaj bikes on the brand’s new 250cc platform.
- Its tall handlebars and comfortable seat make it more of a sport tourer.
- The Gixxer SF 250, on the other hand, looks more of a more authentic super sport.
A 250cc bike is a good choice for people who have only one bike and want something affordable and versatile. In India, where most households have only one bike, this is important. These bikes are easy to handle in crowded cities and provide an enjoyable ride when you venture out. We tested two popular bikes in this category: the Bajaj Pulsar F250 and the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250. So, which one is the better choice?
Bajaj Pulsar F250 vs Suzuki Gixxer SF 250: Design & Features
The visual difference between the two bikes is the most noticeable aspect of their design. TheGixxer has a full fairing that gives it a clean and sleek look, especially in its attractive MotoGP-inspired colour scheme. However, it's a bit disappointing that they no longer participate in that series.
On the other hand, the Pulsar has a semi-faired design, which exposes the engine and exhaust piping. Nevertheless, the design is commendable as there are no visible wires, hoses, or panel gaps. It would have been more appealing if there were more colour options available for the dual-channel ABS version of the Pulsar F250 we have here, which only comes in an all-black scheme.
The Pulsar's digi-analogue cluster, although simpler and lacking Bluetooth connectivity, is more aesthetically pleasing compared to the Gixxer's cluster. The Gixxer uses the same cluster found in all Bluetooth-equipped Suzuki products made in India. Additionally, the Pulsar's cluster is positioned more naturally within the rider's line of sight, unlike the Gixxer's, which requires looking down to see it.
Bajaj Pulsar F250 vs Suzuki Gixxer SF 250: Engines
|Specifications||Bajaj Pulsar F250||Suzuki Gixxer SF 250|
|Engine||249.07cc engine||249cc engine|
The Pulsar's engine defies the adage of "Don't judge a book by its cover." Despite its simpler 2-valve architecture compared to the Suzuki's 4-valve engine, we found the Bajaj engine to be smoother and more refined.
Interestingly, despite having an extra gear, the Gixxer actually operates at a slightly higher RPM when cruising at 100kph in top gear compared to the Pulsar. However, the Pulsar's engine remains the smoother and more refined option between the two.
While the Pulsar offers a smoother engine, the Gixxer excels in terms of fun and performance. It's a motor that loves to rev, and it truly comes alive above 7,000rpm. If you prioritize outright performance from your 250cc bike, the Gixxer is the better choice.
During our tests, the Gixxer achieved a sprint to 100kph in 8.58 seconds, while the Pulsar was over a second slower at 9.86 seconds. The Gixxer also outperforms the Pulsar in terms of roll-on acceleration and manages to be more fuel-efficient, achieving a combined fuel consumption of 43.48kpl compared to the Pulsar's 40.81kpl.
Bajaj Pulsar F250 vs Suzuki Gixxer SF 250: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes
|Specifications||Bajaj Pulsar F250||Suzuki Gixxer SF 250|
|Front suspension||Telescopic fork||Telescopic Fork|
|Rear suspension||Gas-charged monoshock||Monoshock|
|Front brake||Disc Brake||Disc Brake|
|Rear brake||Disc Brake||Disc Brake|
|ABS||Optional dual channel||Dual-channel|
The Pulsar, similar to the Dominar, features 37mm telescopic forks at the front and a rear monoshock with 130mm of wheel travel. The tires are larger than those on the 220F and comparable to the NS200, offering a setup that is more taut than plush. However, it handles bumpy concrete roads with ease, providing a smooth ride.
The nature of their respective engines also influences the seating position of both bikes. On the Gixxer, your upper body leans slightly forward, and the seat-to-peg distance is adequate. The Pulsar, on the other hand, offers a more upright position with more room to move around, making it the more comfortable option, especially in stop-and-go city traffic.
While neither bike is uncomfortable, the Pulsar is noticeably more comfortable when ridden back-to-back. In addition, the Pulsar's clutch lever has an extremely light action, providing good feel and feedback to the rider. The Gixxer's clutch is not heavy either, but the Pulsar's is exceptionally light, allowing it to be squeezed with just a pinky finger.
Bajaj Pulsar F250 vs Suzuki Gixxer SF 250: Dimensions
|Dimensions||Bajaj Pulsar F250||Suzuki Gixxer SF 250|
|Fuel tank capacity||14-litres||12-litres|
Both bikes offer enjoyable handling in twisty sections, despite the Pulsar having narrower tires compared to the Gixxer. However, on the patchy roads we tested them on in and around Mumbai, the Gixxer felt slightly more unsettled compared to the Pulsar, which exhibited a more composed and controlled ride.
The Pulsar's Grimeca brakes were easier to modulate and had better initial bite than the Gixxer'sBybre brakes. Additionally, the Suzuki's front brake lever had a bit too much play, which was not to our liking. Both bikes had sufficient stopping power, as evidenced by their near-identical stopping distances in our tests, but we preferred the brakes on the Pulsar.
Both bikes have a similar size on paper, and this translates to the riding experience as well. While the SF is slightly larger than the F250 in various aspects, it manages to mask its weight effectively. Both bikes exhibit nimble handling, making commuting a joyful experience.
In addition to their performance, the Pulsar's practicality has contributed to its popularity. With a seat height of 795mm, riders around 5'6" can comfortably put both feet flat on the ground. The bike also feels slim, adding to its manoeuvrability. Both the rider and pillion are provided with well-padded and spacious seats. Although the seats are split, the pillion doesn't feel uncomfortable as their seat is only slightly higher than the rider's.
Bajaj Pulsar F250 vs Suzuki Gixxer SF 250: Price
|Price||Bajaj Pulsar F250||Suzuki Gixxer SF 250|
|Ex-showroom Delhi||Rs 1.40 lakh onwards||Rs 2.02 lakh onwards|
The Bajaj Pulsar F250 comes with a price tag of Rs 1.40 lakh onwards for the single-channel ABS variant, available in Caribbean Blue, Racing Red, and Techno Grey colors. The dual-channel ABS variant, only available in Brooklyn Black, is priced at Rs 1,49,978 (both prices are ex-showroom Delhi).
On the other hand, the Suzuki Gixxer 250 SF starts at Rs 2,02,000 for the Metallic Matte Stellar Blue and Metallic Matte Black No.2 color options. The premium dual-tone variant, 'Metallic Sonic Silver with Triton Blue,' is priced at Rs 2,02,500 (both prices are ex-showroom Delhi).
The Pulsar F250 stands out as the more refined and comfortable bike among the two, while still offering competitive real-world performance compared to the Gixxer SF 250. Now, let's address the Rs 62,000 elephant in the room. At Rs 1.5 lakh, the Bajaj Pulsar F250 is attractively priced, costing only a few thousand rupees more than the smaller 150cc Gixxer SF.
On the other hand, the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250, priced at Rs 2.02 lakh, fails to justify the significant premium it commands over the Pulsar. It's a pity that the Indian market hasn't embraced the Pulsar F250 with the same enthusiasm as it did with the 220F. Hopefully, more people will recognize the immense value of this underrated bike before dismissing it completely.